This month, I want to talk about a subject that is near and dear to me: what CIM is doing — or not doing — for students in Canada’s mining industry. You may have heard me before, in this space or elsewhere, discussing the necessity of bringing new and younger members into the CIM fraternity.
My own involvement with CIM began in university when one of my professors showed up with a handful of application forms and said: “Everybody fill one of these out; you’re all joining CIM.” Although this approach might have lacked some subtlety, I do believe that every geology, mining, mineral processing and metallurgy student across Canada should be a CIM student member as a matter of course. Mining students need to feel a part of the industry in which they will work, and CIM provides the ideal means for fostering that connection.
Most CIM branches that are in close proximity to a university or college do their best to involve students in their activities by inviting them to branch meetings, hosting student mixers and offering scholarships. In spite of these efforts, I feel that we are still not connecting with them adequately.
To encourage student involvement, about a year ago Council changed the fee structure so that CIM membership is free to students registered in a full-time program in mining, geology, mineral processing or metallurgical studies. In spite of this, a majority of students in these disciplines have still not signed up. In an effort to change this, CIM Council recently authorized the hiring of a new membership liaison coordinator, Teresa Barrett. One of Teresa's first priorities will be contacting every university to discuss the benefits of CIM membership, informing students about how they can become members, and helping to establish student branches.
I call on all of our members to support and encourage Teresa in her endeavours. Students represent the future of CIM and of our industry. Let’s all do our part to make it happen.
Michael J. Allan, CIM President